Tuesdays with Corti: Nightmares

Good day, dear reader, what a holiday weekend it’s been! Besides the President’s Day protests nationwide, it’s been personally a tough one. I’ve been down with a nasty head cold and missing performances of Paramount’s Sweeney Todd ​(which I haven’t seen now since opening night)! And so restless, I’ve been having recurring nightmares, the same one waking me every time – something in my psyche acting out in dreams the feeling of never finishing directing the show. Waking up startled, I finally get back to sleep to wake up again in this panic! I have to laugh! More often than not, it is difficult to feel the work is done and to let it go, trusting it into the hands of the production team and the cast, who are phenomenally brilliant I am grateful to say! I have been blown away at the progress we made, the pinnacle we reached by opening night, and am looking forward to see how they have gone beyond and build on this! This is what I love about live theatre: the work continues to grow with the audience’s attendance like anything in nature that is alive. When it is true, the show continues to grow in its honest best because you are here, ladies and gentlemen! It develops and refines as the audience in the house and the company onstage live together. Experience together! 

A work like Sweeney Todd​ will bring on the harshest criticism as it is revered and personalized intellectually and emotionally by those who regard its place of achievement in American Theatre. And those who don’t know it may have good reason not to, as it’s not their kind of story. “It’s different.” Well, it has been thrilling to hear from so many responding so positively to seeing it for the first time. And as for the journalists, bloggers and critics, although one simply cannot please everyone, thankfully to all, the writing about this production has been glowing and celebratory across the board. No mean feat.

Stephen Sondheim’s masterwork should not be missed. This is a rare opportunity as well with this magnificent orchestra. Even if it appears not to be your “kind of thing,” I promise, you just might experience something you never knew existed. Maybe to simply learn about it, you will be moved and excited. The incredible talent is live on stage right in front of you. Certainly there is much here to take home and think about, talk about and share. I’ve met those who have come to Paramount for the first time to see this production. And I’ve met those, as well, who have made this the first show they have ever seen! That’s all a part of exactly why we are here. 

Love & thanks,

Jim

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The ensemble devours those delicious meat pies. Photo credit: Liz Lauren.
The ensemble devours those delicious meat pies. Photo credit: Liz Lauren.